Temperature indices of snowmelt during rainfall

TitleTemperature indices of snowmelt during rainfall
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1985
AuthorsKattelmann, R.
Conference Name53rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 53rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1985
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBoulder, Colorado
KeywordsSnowmelt, Snow-on-rain, Temperature index

Most of the snowmelt runoff models currently in operation use a special set of equations to estimate snowmelt during rainfall. The performance of eight rain-on-snow melt estimation equations was assessed using data from two Sierra Nevada locations. Daily snowpack water equivalent measurements during rain storms were used as the basis for comparison with calculated melt.The most commonly used equations, which require only air temperature, precipitation, and windspeed, estimated point snowmelt within a few centimeters of observed change in snowpack water equivalent. A simple temperature-only index equation performed almost as well as a more sophisticated equation. This temperature index method, where daily snowmelt = 0.46 cm per degree Celcius + 0.25 cm/day, may be of use where wind and precipitation data are unavailable or judged too difficult to extrapolate.